July 7, 2014

Skip Records Management and Start Governing Your Information

Are Your Information Governance  Policies Still Based On This?
2014 © Cary J. Calderone

Since 2007, in spite of my best efforts, I have watched as organizations lost control of their electronic data and struggled to implement classification systems and other good information governance protocols. And yet, it might not be entirely their fault.  I routinely see advertisements from "expert" consulting groups that offer a “solution” for records and information management based on the ancient approach of retention policies and schedules. This is like having a modern steel and glass building and hiring a carpenter with wood and nails to help you expand. The usual advice starts with “the foundation” that includes a records plan or policy and then attempts to expand it to cover electronically stored information (ESI).   Why?  Is it because existing records programs have been performing so well?  I doubt it.  Ask employees at most organizations about the adequacy of their current records policy and you will receive the same response, “what records policy?”   So, if it really was not working for paper, why would consultants suggest that you just update it to handle ESI? Classification and retention programs that achieved barely adequate to horrendous results historically with paper, are not going to work with your expanding email, instant messaging, social media, and new media applications.    How about an approach that will work? 

March 21, 2014

The Exchange-Still Very Good

by Cary J. Calderone, Esq.
Click here for information on future Exchanges!

Even without Browning Marean moderating (best wishes for a speedy recovery to Browning) the Exchange stayed fun and interesting.  In the years that I have attended, I have noticed that eliciting audience participation has become easier for the moderators.  The audience chimes in faster, and with more real-world examples and issues.  It is obvious that the attendees appreciate the roundtable and open discussion format as much as I do. 

March 13, 2014

Review of Data Crush-Sometimes You Can Judge A Book By Its Title

By Cary J. Calderone, Esq.

Available on Amazon
My quick summary of the book:  Either crush, or be crushed.  The amount of data is growing faster than ever.  Data Crush by Chris Surdak explains why this is happening and provides a roadmap for keeping your business on the right side of the tidal wave of data.   A key observation Surdak shares is that:

The Internet used to be a tool for telling your customers about your business. Now its real value lies in what it tells you about them.

 In other words, you either take advantage of new technology and new data, or, your competitors will, and you may be out of business.  

March 3, 2014

And The Winner Of The Oscar For Best Prediction Goes To...

2014 © Cary J. Calderone

"I would like to thank the academy and all those who have supported this blog...  [sniffle
sniffle]  Without you this moment would not be possible."   Okay, this blog post has nothing to do with the Academy Awards except that I thought I would take a moment to pat myself on the back, just like Hollywood does for more than 3 1/2 hours (that seems like 8) during the Academy Awards.   In December of 2012 in my year-end post, I boldly predicted that e-discovery tools like Guidance and Autonomy, could be redesigned and/or repackaged for Business Intelligence and Information Governance. (link to the original blog post Forecast-2013)
Recently there has been a new marketing push for many E-Discovery products for "Pro-Active Information Governance."  

January 12, 2014

I Was So Wrong-My Review Of "The Plugged-In Manager"

by Cary J. Calderone, Esq.

Available at Amazon.
It is difficult for anybody to admit they were wrong.  Perhaps even more so for an attorney skilled at arguing to the contrary, but I have to admit it now because the more I learn, the more I realize just how wrong I was.  Flash back to the year 2000, when I was becoming friends with author Dr. Terri L. Griffith.  She explained that the focus of her work was around "Organizational Behavior" and "Virtual Teams."   She even described it as arguably the most critical part of the MBA curriculum.  Are you rolling your eyes?  I know I sure did.  She went on to say that while in school, MBA students believe Finance and other core subjects are the most important.  However, once they graduate and have been out in the workforce for a few years, their opinions change.  Then, OB and VT courses have the highest priority and are the first they take when they return for Executive Education.  Apparently, the MBA students were initially wrong too.  As I read her book, I could not help but reflect on my past seven years of record and information management counseling and just how much more my "organizational behavior" skills and knowledge  outweighed my legal skills when it came to getting results.  


December 22, 2013

The Sound Of Privacy

© By Cary J. Calderone, Esquire

This is revisited from the DREDLaw.com archive.  Originally published on 12/25/2011

Still available on Amazon!
It is the Christmas season.  Those of us involved in DREDLaw.com wish you and yours the happiest of Holiday seasons.  Along with many of the more important traditions that occur, this time of year brings television repeats of classic movies like The Sound of Music.  For the past few years, I could not help but think of e-discovery and data privacy while watching parts of this movie.  Now, I am not obsessed with e-discovery and data law. I promise you.  However, a few scenes from the movie explain in most vivid detail just why the EU has a very different attitude and set of rules towards email and other information that may reveal a user's personal identification.  So, this post is for all of you who are not aware, or, are uncertain as to why the EU Data Protection Act is far more strict and penal in attempting to protect personal privacy at work.  Their default is, if it identifies a person by name, it is personal and protected by law.  In the U.S., if it is about business or on the company servers, it's not protected.  If you don't think this is still a relevant distinction, then you have not followed the NSA and Edward Snowden story.  The comments from Angela Merkel were most illuminating as she compared the NSA to Stasi.  In Germany, they still feel personal privacy reigns supreme.  But, let's see if these bits of dialogue from the movie validate this theory and perhaps give you an idea of who, originally is to blame.  Take, for example: 

Rolf the Nazi courier to Lissel, when delivering a telegram for Captain Von Trapp- “We make it our business to know everything about everyone.”  
Or, dialogue from Heir Zeller-“You were sent a telegram which you did not answer.  A telegram from Admiral Von Schreiber of the navy of the 3rd Reich.”
Captain Von Trapp “I was under the impression Heir Zeller that the contents of telegrams in Austria are private!  At least the Austria I know.”
The reasons should now be clear.  Once we in America understand the origins of the EU Data Protection Act, it will be easier for us to put in the systems and policies  necessary to better comply with the rules.  After the NSA scandal, it is likely the EU Data Protection Act will become even more the gravamen of information management policies.  Until next time, if you are frustrated and angry with the challenge of navigating US Data rules and EU Rules at the same time, take heart.  You are not alone.  We can all just blame the Nazis...

Happy Holidays

May 8, 2013

eDiscovery Retreat-Half Moon Bay=Excellent


by Cary J. Calderone, © 2013

I had the pleasure of attending this conference at the Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay. The eDiscovery Retreats (formerly Carmel Valley E-Discovery Retreat-www.cvedr.com), were expanded to more locations and re-organized.  This two-day event was excellent.  There were two tracks running simultaneously that covered the "hows" and the "whys" of e-discovery.  There were session topics for the entire range of the EDRM model and there was an excellent Judges' panel that discussed a hypothetical e-discovery case.  Readers of this blog know I believe there is no better way to learn about e-discovery than hearing directly from the judges.  This panel was no exception and all e-discovery players, whether it is a company that works with an outside e-discovery vendor, or one that may perform their e-discovery in house, learned important checks and procedures so that their efforts will withstand judicial scrutiny.

April 25, 2013

Cloud Connect 2013-Look Out, Here We Grow

by Cary J. Calderone, © 2013
Cloud Connect Keynote

It is hard for me to believe that it was only two short years ago that the "Cloud" was new.   For those of us who follow technology it was not really new but rather, "newly marketed."   What was new was Big Data technologies, Open Stack, and mobile, all of which combined to make Cloud Computing a very robust business model.   And now, what is hot about the Cloud is not so much new and innovative technologies but rather, massive growth and consolidation.  This industry is maturing.  Here are some interesting observations made by speakers at the 2013 Cloud Connect Show in Santa Clara: 

April 16, 2013

The Future Of E-Discovery-Graduating Soon

by Cary J. Calderone, © 2013

Many have noted that e-discovery education has been lagging in the legal profession.  Still, many forecast that one day, hopefully soon, e-discovery will become second nature to practicing attorneys, in the same manner that wired telephones, paper books, and Dictaphones gave way to smart phones, electronic research, and computers.  E-discovery will be the rule, not the exception for litigation and legal investigations.  And, I am willing to make this prediction for two reasons:  1)  There are a growing number of law schools that are teaching E-Discovery and, 2)  Law students are recognizing e-discovery experience is crucial.     I recently had the opportunity to ask a few questions to some students about their E-Discovery class that had included Laura Zubulake's book Zubulake's e-Discovery as part of the reading material (I reviewed the book here on DredLaw).  The students' answers were very encouraging.

April 11, 2013

From The Archives: What Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus Can Teach Us About eDiscovery At The Masters

by Cary J. Calderone

This post originally appeared in April, 2011, but it is still true today.

It's Masters week. As every golf fan knows, it is the first major tournament of the year and for even the casual golfer, a reason to watch some golf on television and daydream about hitting the links soon. As I watched Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus hit the ceremonial "first tee shots" to start the tournament I recognized a golden opportunity to push for you and your organization to improve your company, and specifically, your eDiscovery response capabilities. The inspiration came to me when I realized that the pre-shot routines of these two golf legends were the same as when I watched them as a young child about forty years ago. Can thinking about this really help you promote better DRED in your organization? Absolutely! And here is why. 

April 1, 2013

What Happens At "The Exchange" Gets Even Better

by Cary Calderone © 2013

Last year I wrote a very favorable review of the General Counsel Institute's program, "The Exchange."  (link here)  In brief, I thought the round-table format provided a fun way to hear about E-Discovery law updates and learn great real-world lessons shared by the participants.  And yet, I have to be honest, the morning of the 2013 event, I was not enthusiastic about attending.  Over the past year, there were no significant developments in E-Discovery law or technology, and I tend to spend too much time at conferences listening to rather boring material.  Whatever my initial hesitations were, within the first hour of listening to Browning Marean III (bio) and the group discussion, I was very happy I attended.  Here's why.

March 25, 2013

Geek vs. Geek-Attorneys vs. Information Management Consultants

by Cary J. Calderone, © 2013

What laws control this data?
This is the second Geek vs. Geek post.  Here we pit lawyers (L-Geeks) against information management consultants (I-geeks).  On the one hand, your attorney is legally obligated to protect your communications (attorney-client privilege) and provide you with advice and documentation applicable to your facts and the specific laws as they apply to your legal matter (attorney work product) in accordance with accepted professional standards.  On the other hand, I-Geeks, unless they are your employees, are typically not bound by professional conduct standards, conflict of interest rules, or even protecting your privileged information.  Outside consultant I-Geeks (it is very rare for an inside I-Geek to bypass internal legal review and protocols) may sign a confidentiality agreement for you, but I have never seen a consulting group operate with safeguards and procedures that were even remotely similar to those employed by L-Geeks.  Why is this?  Does it matter?

February 28, 2013

Yahoo Limits Telecommuting-Is It Legal? Is It Smart?

© 2013 By Cary J. Calderone, Esquire

It doesn't look scary. Or, does it?
It seems Marissa Mayer has created a firestorm.  Everybody is weighing in on Yahoo's new policy eliminating telecommuting.  Some are for it.  Many are against it.  But, no commentator has addressed the most important and fundamental issues for considering a major organizational change.  "What are they doing now and why?"  Whether it has been legal advising or Information Management consulting, I have worked with groups and before I would ever consider making a recommendation for a change, I find out what they are currently doing, and why.   In the case of Yahoo, I'd like to know how many people currently telecommute?  Do they video conference? How often do they make it to the office for face-to-face meetings?  Without knowing the answers to these important questions,  it would be ridiculous to criticize the move.  Moreover, just as any experienced attorney or consultant could, I recognize many reasons why this may be a very smart move.

January 20, 2013

Geek vs. Geek-What Do You Mean Backup?

© 2013 By Cary J. Calderone, Esquire

Geek vs. Geek
This is the first in a new series of blog posts that will illuminate the communication gap between Legal Geeks and Technology Geeks.  For these "Geek vs. Geek" posts, the basic assumptions will always be the same:  1) Both types of geeks, T-Geeks and L-Geeks, are pretty darn smart. 2)  Both know quite a bit about their own unique tasks, tools, and responsibilities.  3)  Both can be a bit defensive, if not downright surly, when they sense a challenge to their authority coming from a competing "Geekdom."  Now that we have the ground rules, the sample hypothetical for this post is about the company Backup or Disaster Recovery Policy.  Do you have one?  Do you think it is being followed?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

December 23, 2012

Data Privacy Rules And The Nazis

© By Cary J. Calderone, Esquire

This is from the DREDLaw.com archive.  Originally published on 12/25/2011


Still available on Amazon!
It is the Christmas season.  Those of us involved in DRED Law wish you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons.  Along with many of the more important traditions that occur, this time of year brings television repeats of classic movies like The Sound of Music.  For the past few years, I could not help but think of e-discovery and data privacy while watching parts of this movie.  Now, I am not obsessed with e-discovery and data law. I promise you.  However, a few scenes from the movie explain in most vivid detail just why the EU has a very different attitude and set of rules towards email and other information that may reveal a user's personal identification.  So, this post is for all of you who are not aware, or, are uncertain as to why the EU Data Protection Act is far more strict and penal in attempting to protect personal privacy at work.  Their default is, if it identifies a person by name, it is personal and protected by law.  In the U.S., if it is about business or on the company servers, it's not protected.  Let's see if these bits of dialogue from the movie validate my point and perhaps give you an idea of who, is to blame.  Take, for example: